28 September 2012

Review of Courtney Pine at Ipswich School Festival of Music 20 September 2012

By Rachel Sloane


This week long festival began with a day of workshops from the street dance group, Stomp,  and an evening with jazz musician, Courtney Pine and his six piece band of double bass, drums, piano, viola, electric violin, and guitar/mandolin.

It was a sell-out concert, with many jazz fans unable to believe their luck that such a big name was appearing in a school hall just round the corner from where they lived.  Those who came to see him play his usual saxophone may have initially been disappointed when he appeared with a bass clarinet, but this was a performance of his new album Europa, and Courtney was obviously enjoying experimenting with his return to an instrument he knows well having studied it at school.  

The roof of the theatre in Great School was almost lifted from its rafters with the swelling sound of some jazz’s top musicians  doing what they do best….playing and improvising around the tunes  written by Courtney, taking it in turns to play to each other, echoing and expanding upon the musical themes.

With a nice line in patter between numbers, Courtney, a Londoner with parents from Jamaica, made us laugh with his tales of his life and the occasions when he is often “the only…… jazz musician in the room! “

Musically I particularly enjoyed ‘They Came From The North’ and ‘The First Flower of Spring’… and the chance to display our clapping skills when the audience became the seventh member of his band.

The Festival of Music continued with a total of fourteen events including a piano recital, a family concert, workshops in singing and the tuba, and classical concerts. It ended with the Battle of the Big Bands between the Ipswich Musicians Union Big Band and the Ipswich School Big Band.

With a selection of music to please everyone, this Festival of Music is an annual event worth looking out for. 


This review will also appear on http://www.onesuffolk.net/home/previews-and-reviews